Cold weather months are the peak period for home fires and home fire deaths. The most prevalent cause for this is because of the increased use of heating equipment. Listed below are ways you can protect your family and yourself during the winter season:
- Leave furnace repairs to qualified specialists.
- Never use fuel-burning appliances without proper room venting. Burning fuels can produce deadly fumes.
- Use ONLY the fuel recommended by the heater manufacturer.
- Keep heater fuels in approved metal containers in a well ventilated storage area outside the house.
- NEVER fill the heater while it is hot or in operations. Be careful with cold fuel, it may expand in the tank as it warms up.
- Keep young children safely away from space heaters - especially when they are wearing nightgowns or other loose clothing.
- Be sure you install woodstoves properly (according to manufacturers standards) and that they are UL Listed. Woodstoves require adequate clearance from all combustible surfaces.
- Have the chimney inspected annually and cleaned if necessary.
- Do not use flammable liquids to start or accelerate any fire.
- Be sure your fireplace fire is out before you go to sleep. NEVER CLOSE YOUR DAMPER WITH HOT ASHES IN THE FIREPLACE. A closed damper will force toxic carbon monoxide gasses into the house.
- FINALLY…. Be sure every level of your home has a working smoke detector on each level.
Call the Ouachita Parish Fire Department's Fire Prevention Bureau at (318) 325-1621 for advice if you have a question on home fire safety.